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By Laurie A. Green
Inherit the Stars began with one powerful idea and no clear plot (the mark of the pantser). Themes of duty, sacrifice and righting terrible wrongs soon gelled, and a novel was born.
The manuscript won two writing competitions and was a finalist in the 2011 RWA Golden Heart Awards© under the title of P2PC. Once published as Inherit the Stars, it was named one of the “Best Books of 2015: E-Originals” by LibraryJournal.com and won the 2016 Carolyn Readers Choice Award.
More about the story…
The central characters all have unique motivations, fears and prejudices, and the friend/foe mindsets to drive them. Sair (hero), Drea (heroine) and Zjel (wildcard) move from potential enemies to uneasy comrades. (The story is not a menage’ romance, which ended up costing Zjel a spot on the cover and no mention in the blurb. I’d say “Poor Zjel”…but then I’d have to duck.)
What makes it different from other SFR stories?
Told entirely from Sair’s POV, everything and everyone is observed through his “filters.” This places a big question mark on the heroine’s motives. She has this shiny prototype starship that could make for a great get-away vehicle provided Sair has the replas (money) to pay the fee. He doesn’t. Their compromise puts Drea in a unique position of power.
It explores a very disturbing side of humanity seldom seen in SFR. The Ithian Empire was inspired by Rome—an enlightened culture that championed art, poetry, and the finer things in life, but then slaughtered people for entertainment. Though Ithis has no coliseums, their traditions are equally shocking. It makes for a very chilling side to the tale, but a tone that’s adventurous and hopeful–more Star Wars than Silence of the Lambs.
“Inherit the Stars is a completely absorbing sf novel of the “plucky Rebels vs. the evil Empire” variety, with some fascinating twists” – Marlene Harris of LibraryJournal.com
To escape the merciless Ithian Alliance, Sair, a fugitive slave, makes a desperate deal with Drea Mennelsohn, captain of the prototype ship, Specter. But putting his life in the hands of a suspected smuggler could turn out to be the biggest mistake of his life, especially when the price on his head begins to escalate.
Drea seems to want far more from the fugitive than just payment for his passage on her ship. Though neither can deny the sizzling chemistry and growing bond between them, the truth behind Sair’s place in the galaxy and Drea’s unique existence is soon revealed. Both are vital to the success of a growing coup, but their part in ending the Ithian Alliance may come at a terrible price for Sair: the loss of the remarkable woman he has fallen in love with—and their chance to inherit the stars.
Inherit the Stars Excerpt
Sair ignored the rough-faced crewies and hangtown beggars who moved aside as he passed. At least being Rathskian offered that advantage. His subspecies’ badass reputation might get him through the streets in one piece, but he had to escape this Ithian-infested pebble of a planet before he was caught.
With each step, he checked ahead, scanning each building and alley, every corner and entryway for uniforms. A glance back confirmed no one followed.
He spied a kiosk sheltered by a battered frond umbrella huddled at the side of a street clogged with foot traffic and whining crew carts. Sair backed into the cooler shadows of an alley and watched. Several crewies paused to exchange words with the tender. None bought. He’d found what he was looking for.
He checked the street in both directions. No uniforms.
Sair cut through the foot traffic to reach the kiosk, angled between two of the floating barstools, and parked his foot on the rail. Pressing a coin to the counter, he slid it across to the tender. “Billins, if you have it.”
“Got it raw,” the toothless man muttered in Universal. He served up a gourd with a hard, stringy shell, and a corroded pair of Billinsboks to tap it.
“Yours,” Sair said when the balding man offered him change.
The tender nodded with a slight rise of an eyebrow. “Be needin’ anythin’ else then?” The man had taken interest. Good sign, if Sair had guessed right. Disaster, if not.
Sair motioned him closer. “A ship off—preferably soon.”
“Hmpf.” The tender turned to flip a toggle and a cleaner-bot trundled over the counter, swabbing the surface with a sour-smelling chamois. “Rathskian, are ya?”
Sair bore no hideous kensmarcs on his face, but his powerful build and dark features betrayed his subspecies. No doubt the Ithians were airing his bounty notice on all the electraboards. He made note of an escape route before responding, “What of it?”
The tender shook his head. “Got nothin’ for a Rathskian. Ship leavin’ at sunset today, but the mate’ll slit your throat. Hates Rathskies.”
The tender tilted his head. “Specter.”
Sair almost choked on a swallow of sour Billins. “The Mennelsohn prototype?”
“Know ships, do ya?”
“A bit.” More than a bit, in this case. A detailed model of Specter occupied a shelf in his quarters on Ithis, one of a dozen starship models he’d fashioned by hand. A hobby that had become an obsession.
“Mennelsohn built this proto a’fore he died. His brat flies it now. Ship’s a P2PC. Planet-to-Planet Courier. They fly passengers…but not you. Mate’ll skewer you on sight.”
“Where’s she hanged?”
The man looked him in the eye and rubbed his thumb across his fingertips. “Twenny-five replas.”
Sair slipped him the coins. If he didn’t find immediate passage, money wouldn’t matter.
“Bay Blue Eight.” The tender pocketed the coins and wiped his hands on his grease-stained apron. “Wouldn’t go there though, even big as y’are.”
Also available as a serial
Laurie A. Green bio
Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals nearly 1,000 members.
Her family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. A former military budget director and reserve state trooper, she now spends her time writing, networking, researching, enjoying the great Southwestern lifestyle and, naturally, stargazing and daydreaming about other worlds.